A little while back, we got an e-mail from Sandy Pendoley (Republic of Kiribati, 02-04), telling us about Thinking Beyond Borders, a gap year program that brings young people around the world to engage in service and learn about global issues. At that time, the program was looking for partners, advice, and the best ways to get off the ground. Two months later, the first group of 16 students and three trip leaders started their journey around the world.
Each program cycle includes six to seven months of traveling in five core countries. In each of those countries, Thinking Beyond Borders works with a service organization, with the intention of becoming intimately aware of the issues, communities, and people that they work with. The itinerary presents students with a broad set of experiences in international development, including education, public health, environmental conservation, and agricultural development.
The opportunity for students to connect with people around the world is enormous, whether working with an aid organization or eating dinner with a host family. The focus of the program empowers students to think critically about the ways they can make change in our increasingly global society.
The organization is currently accepting applications for the 2009-2010 program. You can apply here.